Friday, July 24, 2009

Government learns from its mistakes

Under a document signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, makers of any new swine flu vaccine are immune from lawsuit.
The last time the government embarked on a major vaccine campaign against a new swine flu [1976], thousands of people filed claims contending they suffered side effects from the shots.
During the last virus scare,
Federal officials vaccinated 40 million Americans during a national campaign. A pandemic never materialized, but thousands who got the shots filed injury claims, saying they suffered a paralyzing condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome or other side effects.
So if you get strong-armed into getting the vaccine and end up spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair, tough. Remember, the government had your best interests in mind.

Drug lobbying pays big time

According to an NPR article, drug firms have poured $40 million into the health care debate over the last three months. Why? Billy Tauzin, a former Louisiana congresman and CEO of a consortium of 32 brand-name drug firms called PhRMA, told NPR:
"We're working with groups we never worked with before — Families USA, the American Agenda, labor, health care providers — that never stood together on the same platform," says Tauzin. "We have every business reason to want to see this happen, and we have every moral reason to see this happen, because our patients are our first concern."
Right. Jerry Avorn, a professor at Harvard medical school comments: "Of course they're supportive — they're getting exactly what they want." Take a look at what's not on the table, Avorn says. Drug re-importation from Canada? Off the table. Government-negotiated drug prices? Off the table.

"A lot of those seem to have been resolved even before the public discussion begins," says Avorn. "And usually, as with the other interest groups involved, they seem to have been resolved in favor of the interest groups, rather than in favor of the public."

You mean Tauzin is possibly lying? You mean the pharmaceutical industry is leveraging Congress for their benefit?

An early George Gershwin song from the musical "Miss 1917"

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